COP21 Wraps Up, Saudi Women Candidates, Kiwi Flag

COP21 WRAPS UP, TALKS CONTINUE

The COP21 climate change conference in Paris will close later today without a deal, though French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said negotiations would continue into the weekend and that a final agreement would probably be adopted tomorrow, Le Monde reports. After almost two weeks of intense talks, a few roadblocks remain, including on the temperature rise limit and funding for the world's least developed countries.


SYRIA REBELS AGREE TO ASSAD TALKS

Syrian opposition and rebel groups gathered in Riyadh have agreed to participate in UN-sponsored talks with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, though they insist on his resignation, Al Jazeera reports. Terror groups ISIS and the al-Nusra Front are notably not attending the summit in Riyadh. The UN-backed meeting between rebel groups and the Syrian government could take place in early January.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

More and more universities around the world offer so-called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). But with top Munich universities using the online education provider Coursera, doubts are growing over security and the selling of customer data, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. "When you digitalize learning, it also means that an awful lot of information is generated. But it is not only the students who can access outside information. Companies such as Coursera, which make the course materials available online and look after the students, also get access to a lot of information about their users. Which students study what? Who studies how much? Who studies fast and who studies slowly? What are the individual student's talents? Who is failing a course? This data is sensitive, but also quite useful from Coursera's point of view. While Coursera earns money from students signing up to their courses, they also have the possibility to sell the student's data: to prospective employers, for example, who want to know how the applicant did during the course."

Read the full article, MOOCs And Privacy, German Fears About Online Student Data.


MOST-WANTED RWANDA MAN ARRESTED

Ladislas Ntaganzwa, a former Rwandan mayor accused of being involved in the massacre of 20,000 Tutsis during the 1994 genocide, was arrested this week in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, The New York Times reports. Rwanda has requested that Ntaganzwa stand trial there. He's accused of crimes against humanity, including genocide and rape. Eight other figures who are also believed to have perpetrated the genocide that killed between 800,000 and 1 million people are still on the run.


MACRI SWORN IN

"I want to be the president of a united Argentina," Argentina's oldest daily La Capital quotes the country's new leader Mauricio Macri as saying today, a day after he was sworn in as president.

Read more from Le Blog.


YEMEN SCHOOLS BOMBED

About 34% of Yemeni children haven't been able to attend school since the beginning of a Saudi-led offensive against Houthi rebels, an Amnesty International report says, citing fears of airstrikes and damage inflicted by bombings since March. The strikes "have not only killed and injured civilians and destroyed civilian property but have a grave and far-reaching impact on access to health care, the delivery of humanitarian aid, on children's education, and on the ability of civilians to provide for their families," the NGO writes, expressing concern for the lack of investigation from both the Saudi coalition and the officially recognized Yemeni government into the illegal targeting of school buildings.


ON THIS DAY


As the Paris COP21 wraps up, today is the 18th anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That and more in your 57-second shot of history.


FIRST WOMEN RUN IN SAUDI ELECTIONS

About 900 Saudi Arabian women are preparing for tomorrow's local elections, the first nationwide poll in which women have been allowed to run. "I'm doing this for my daughters," one of the candidates told The Independent. "They are witnessing a new way to be a Saudi woman." But there are still many prohibitions on Saudi women, among them driving.


$1.76 MILLION

Photo: Dennis Van Tine/UPPA/ZUMA

Janis Joplin's psychedelic 1964 Porsche 356 was sold yesterday at RM Sotheby's for $1.76 million, three times more than the most hopeful expectation.


REVISED HAJJ STAMPEDE DEATH TOLL

At least 2,411 Muslim pilgrims died in the September stampede during the Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, according to new data revealed by AP. The figures are three times higher than what the kingdom's authorities have acknowledged. Iran was the worst-hit country, with 464 pilgrims killed.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



ALTERNATIVE KIWI FLAG

New Zealanders have chosen a mash-up of their current flag and of their national rugby team symbol as the best alternative to replace a national flag that some believe is too similar to that of neighboring Australia, the New Zealand Herald reports. But more than half of the population didn't participate in the controversial vote, which has been criticized for its cost and timing. The final decision will be made in March.

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Society

Germany's Legendary Clubbing Culture Crashes Museum Space

The exhibition “Electro” in Düsseldorf is an unlikely tribute to a joyful and uninhibited club culture, with curators forced to contend with limits of a museum setting ... and another COVID lockdown.

A woman with a "Techno" tattoo in front of the famous Berghain

Boris Pofalla

DÜSSELDORF — The last party at the Berghain nightclub in Berlin lasted from Saturday evening until Monday morning. On the first weekend of December, some clubbers lined up for nine hours outside the former power plant – and still didn’t make it past the doormen. A friend said that dancing in the most famous techno club in the world on its last evening was like landing a spot in the last lifeboat to leave the sinking Titanic on 14 April 1912.

It is surely a coincidence that the first comprehensive exhibition charting the 100-year history of electronic music in Germany opened in the same week that nightclubs across the country were forced to close. It wasn’t planned that way, but it’s like opening an exhibition about the cultural history of alcohol the day after the introduction of prohibition.

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